Denver Design Patent Lawyer
A patent grants the inventor of a product, work, concept, or process the legal ability to protect their innovation within a commercial enterprise. By acquiring a patent, the patent holder is provided with the exclusive right to prevent other individuals, companies, or entities from unauthorized reproduction, use, import, or sale of the patented item over a predetermined period. A Denver design patent attorney can help applicants navigate the process of acquiring a patent. Over time, an experienced attorney can offer specialized legal knowledge of intellectual property and litigation expertise to ensure the patent is approved and enforced.
Learn more about patent law below, then contact the Denver patent law office of Four Reasons Legal for assistance with the patent application for your Colorado business.
Understanding Patent Law
Patent law comprises the branch of intellectual property law governing patents. Congress enacted the US Patent Act to grant inventors exclusive rights to their innovation or improvement and therefore encourage inventors to invest time and resources into developing original discoveries. To secure these rights, the inventor must immediately disclose the existence of the invention to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and file a patent application, including extensive information.
Only the inventor or an attorney registered with the USPTO to practice patent law may prepare and submit this application. To receive protection, the design patent application must be filed within one year of public disclosure of the design. If protection outside the US is desirable, filing your US application before any disclosure is required.
Patent Law After Patent Approval
If the patent is approved, the inventor will receive a legal document containing a detailed description of the invention and how to create or use it. A patent may be protected for only a limited period—typically 14, 15, 17, or 20 years, depending on the type of patent and when it was submitted. To extend patent rights beyond the original term, the patent holder must file an extension and receive approval. Otherwise, the invention will enter the public domain when the original term concludes.
Manufacturing, distributing, using, or selling a product for which a patent exists is considered patent infringement. Patent law allows the patent holder to bring a claim against the infringing party to seek compensation for damages incurred because of the infringement.
Utility Versus Design Patents
After an inventor determines they would like to pursue a patent for their innovation, they must choose which type of patent to pursue. Inventors may apply for five types of patents, but utility and design patents are the most requested.
Also referred to as a patent for invention, a utility patent exists for the invention of a new, useful composition of matter, device, machine, manufacture, or process, or an improvement thereof. This type of patent encompasses a variety of details regarding how an item is constructed, the materials used in this construction, and how this specific invention performs a new or improved function. It prevents unauthorized use or sale of the patented invention for up to 20 years from the initial filing date and requires patent holders to pay periodic fees to maintain the enforcement of their patents.
What Is the Cost of a Design Patent?
A design patent exists for new, original, or ornamental design embodied within or applied to a manufactured item. Compared to the more comprehensive utility patent, a design patent specifically deals with any drawings, blueprints, or drafted documents required to create the invention. It protects the appearance of the item, including shape, feel, features, surface decoration, or other ornamental characteristics. Examples range from consumer goods packaging such as perfume bottles to automotive light lens shape or the design of utensils.
A design patent offers the inventor greater freedom and flexibility than a utility patent, placing fewer constraints on the design. Design patents are subject to USPTO fees of $380 for a small entity and $760 for a large entity. However, attorney fees will vary. Design patents filed on or after May 13, 2015, receive a term of 15 years, while applications submitted before this date receive a term of 14 years.
Requirements for Patentability
To successfully acquire a patent, an invention must meet the following five primary requirements:
- Patentable Subject Matter. Patentable subject matter refers to any man-made invention versus abstract ideas and physical or natural phenomena.
- Utility. An invention must meet USPTO guidelines for utility and demonstrate that the utility described in the patent application is credible, substantial, and specific. The inventor must support a claim of utility with facts and logic or prove it capable of providing the claimed use by an individual of ordinary skill. Substantial utility requires a clearly defined use for the invention, and this invention must not require further research to identify its use in a real-world context. Finally, the utility must be specific to the subject matter as opposed to a general utility that may apply to a wide range of inventions.
- Novelty. The novelty requirement states that the invention is new and original, meaning it was never available for public use or sale or known and used by others in the US. The product cannot have been patented or described in any printer publication around the world before the inventor files the patent application. A patent applicant loses the right to a patent if they wait too long to pursue patent protection.
- Non-obviousness. An invention is obvious if evidence exists that similar subject matter is found by examining prior examples of comparable products, the nature of the issue the product attempts to resolve, or the knowledge of a regular person.
- Enablement. The enablement requirement specifies that the patent application discloses a description of the invention in writing, along with the processes needed to make or use the invention. Such a description must be in clear, concise, exact terms so any skilled individual in that field may be able to create the invention in its intended manner without needing to conduct experimentation. Additionally, the manner of use described must be deemed the best mode of utilizing the invention.
How Do I Find a Reputable Patent Attorney?
When searching for a reputable Denver design patent attorney, gather information on multiple firms and confirm that the attorney you choose to hire demonstrates the following:
- Legal expertise, consisting of the ability to correctly prepare a patient application that fully captures the meaningful ideas encompassed by the invention
- Professional experience featuring past evidence of successfully handling patents for similar inventions
- Willingness to conduct research with the goal of becoming more knowledgeable regarding the invention and its accurate portrayal
- Dedication to providing clients with individual attention to encourage the development of a productive attorney/client relationship
- Good reputation of the firm itself for maintaining open, clear lines of communication and ensuring the patent application receives approval
Four Reasons Legal Can Defend Your Design Patent
If you are interested in applying for a design patent, contact Four Reasons Legal today. For over 15 years, company founder and intellectual property attorney Steve Zemanick has served business trademark clients in a variety of industries. The firm has built an impressive reputation of proven results throughout greater Denver, Colorado, and the entire nation.
Four Reasons Legal can assist at any stage of the research and development lifecycle from initial idea to manufacturing. Our expert team offers world-class legal representation and handles our cases with professionalism, compassion, and dedication. To learn more about how our Denver design patent attorneys can assist you in securing a patent, schedule a free 30-minute consultation by phone or submit the form on our website. Quotes are available so you can select the legal services that meet your needs.